Future Transportation Workforce Video Awarded Gold in Telly’s General Recruitment Category

WASHINGTON – A video created as part of the Transportation Research Board’s centennial celebration has been named the winner of three 2020 Telly Awards, which annually showcase the best work created within television and across all types of video production.

The video, Your Future in Transportation, highlights the excitement, challenges, and fulfillment that those who select transportation as their career can expect to enjoy.

“This is an exciting time of transformation in the transportation industry, and this award-winning video puts a spotlight on how young people have the opportunity to make a difference in the world by choosing transportation as a career path,” said Sandra Larson, transportation innovation strategies leader, Stanley Consultants Inc.; and chair, Centennial Task Force.

The video was produced as a partnership between the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“TTI and its transportation research experts have been active TRB volunteers for six decades, and we are pleased to have had the opportunity for our video production team to work with our partners at TRB on this award-winning production about the future of transportation and transportation careers,” said Greg Winfree, TTI agency director.

“I recommend that anyone who cares about the future of transportation, and the important role it can play in providing an equitable quality of life for all our citizens, view this video and then pass it along to their local school system with the request that it become part of their community’s STEM curriculum.” added Neil Pedersen, executive director, TRB.

“In addition to research and technology transfer, t

Online Job Board Connects Workers to Transportation Construction Openings

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) –A new job board aims to connect Virginians with available jobs in the transportation industry.

The Virginia Department of Transportation worked with its industry partners, including the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance and the Virginia Asphalt Association, to create the Virginia Transportation Construction Job Board. According to a release, this online board provides information and links to jobs across Virginia with a wide range of skills sought, including positions that require little or no prior experience.
It was designed to target the transportation construction industry, which is a sector where workers are critically needed during the peak construction season. The release says there are already more than 200 available positions posted and more are being added every week.  “The Virginia Office of Transportation Innovation and Research coordinated with industry and VDOT to identify a more direct way to communicate job availability within the transportation sector,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The Construction Job Board is a smart investment that supports infrastructure, workforce and economic recovery.”

Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy adds that this will be a valuable took for connecting people to jobs as well as having opening accessible through the Virginia Workforce Connection online service.

“No industry can be completely free from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Jeff Southard, Executive Vice President of VTCA. “But, our members are focused on ensuring that the health and safety of the transportation construction workforce remains strong while we deliver the economic benefits of a robust transportation program to the Commonwealth.”

For more information, click here.

MIT forecast: autonomous vehicles won’t take truckers’ jobs

Truck drivers do more than just drive, and widespread self-driving tech is at least a decade away, researchers say.

truck driver generic

That prognosis isn’t stopping proponents from investing in the sector. In recent weeks alone, Alabama’s Auburn University said it is building an $800,000 addition to the autonomous vehicle research facility at the school’s National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), allowing experts to run tests indoors. And the self-driving truck provider Plus.ai announced a plan to test its autonomous driving system with the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC), an independent vehicle test facility that operates a proving ground track in Ohio.

MIT said investments like those have produced substantial recent progress by the industry, but concluded that fully automated driving systems that have no safety driver onboard will take at least a decade to deploy over large areas, even in regions with favorable weather and infrastructure. And areas with winter climates and rural areas will experience still longer transitions, as the technology’s expansion will likely be gradual and will happen region-by-region in specific categories of transportation, resulting in wide variations in availability across the country, researchers said.

That conclusion came from a brief titled “Autonomous Vehicles, Mobility, and Employment Policy: The Roads Ahead,” co-authored by John Leonard, Task Force member and MIT Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering and Erik Stayton, an MIT Doctoral Candidate in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society. The study followed the school’s interim 2019 report, “Work of the Future: Shaping Technologies and Institutions,” where MIT researchers sought to analyze topics like manufacturing, health care, tax reform, skills/training, and emerging technologies such as collaborative robotics and additive manufacturing, also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing.

Another reason that autonomous trucks may not lead to a widespread loss of logistics jobs is that truck drivers do more than just drive, the MIT authors said. “While many believe that increased automation will bring greater impacts to trucking than to passenger carrying vehicles, the impact on truck-driving jobs is not expected to be widespread in the short term,” the study found. “Human presence within even highly automated trucks would remain valuable for other reasons such as loading, unloading, and maintenance.”

In the longer term, logistics transportation employers can preserve job prospects for drivers by following policy recommendations in the study, such as: strengthening career pathways for drivers, increasing labor standards and worker protections, advancing public safety, creating good jobs via human-led truck platooning, and promoting safe and electric trucks.

Read the full article on DC Velocity!

Transportation is a People-Centered Issue

JIM TYMON, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

There are several critical workforce challenges facing the U.S. transportation sector today and state departments of transportation are taking steps to “sound the alarm” about the situation.

Roger Millar, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, provided some stark numbers on his agency’s workforce recruiting and retention situation during a panel discussion in January at the 2019 Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Over 2,000 are engineering employees and 41 percent of them are eligible to retire; we have 2,000 maintenance workers and 31 percent of them are eligible to retire,” Millar said, noting that WSDOT employs 7,000 across Washington state.

“We have 2,000 employees in our ferry system and 75 percent of the ferry captains are eligible to retire, along with 30 percent of vessel workers and a quarter of the port facility staff.”

A lack of interest on the part of younger workers in transportation careers is one aspect of the recruitment challenge facing state DOTs at this juncture; a lack of interest that exists well beyond the ranks of traditional engineering disciplines, according to research by the Brookings Institution. “Just as our physical infrastructure systems are aging and in need of attention, so too are the workers who design, construct, operate, and oversee these systems,” noted Joseph Kane, Senior Research Associate and Associate Fellow of the group’s metropolitan policy program. “The problem is that many of them are nearing or are eligible for retirement, and there is not a strong training pipeline to educate and equip a new generation of talent with the skills they need.”

State governments, in particular, face acute difficulties in attracting, building, and retaining “critically important talent and workforce skills,” according to a report compiled by the National Association of State Chief Administrators, with help from global consulting company Accenture and human resources provider NEOGOV. Those difficulties include changes in workforce expectations, especially the reduced appeal of “lifetime employment” among younger generations; less-competitive salaries; rising competition from the private sector; and negative perceptions about working for the government.

How do we change such perceptions, especially of state DOTs? The first is to take a more “holistic approach” to workforce recruiting and retention compared to the past – one that includes building a more “diverse” workforce that includes more women and minorities to help provide new and different perspectives on transportation needs. It’s also about making careers in transportation, less about raw infrastructure, such as roads and rails, and more about how that infrastructure benefits people in their daily lives – whether they are shipping packages to loved ones, traveling to and from work, getting the kids to and from school, or going on vacation.

“At the end of the day, transportation represents freedom; the freedom to move where, when, and how we want. It gives us opportunities that would not exist otherwise,” Carlos Braceras, director of the Utah Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018-2019 president, explained recently.

He added that communicating the “positives” about transportation is also critically important in terms of attracting a new generation of workers into the transportation field.

“We have this bubble [among state DOTs] where a large group of people are starting to retire,” Braceras said. “So we see this constant need for new employees, but also for new skill sets because more and more of the technology [in transportation] is changing. Today it is almost more important how we operate our transportation system than how we built it because there is so much more data going into our decision-making processes today; helping us make better decisions faster and with better outcomes.”

That’s why transportation needs to be more “people-centered” today, both for its workforce and the citizens it serves. For the mobility that transportation provides is what sustains the economic vitality of our nation and the quality of life its citizens enjoy.

 

Jim Tymon is the Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association that supports and represents the interests and missions of state departments of transportation. His experience includes service in key Congressional and federal agency roles, as well as non-profit association management.
As AASHTO Executive Director, Tymon oversees a staff of 120 professionals who support their members in the development of transportation solutions that create economic prosperity, enhance quality of life, and improve transportation safety in U.S. communities, states, and the nation as a whole. AASHTO is now in its second century of service to state departments of transportation and their highly skilled employees.

Utah DOT ‘Field Trip’ Entices Students To Explore Transportation Careers

With teams of secondary school students flocking to Park City, UT, to compete in the final round of the 2019 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials National Bridge Challenge competition – an event that is part of the organization’s annual spring meeting – the Utah Department of Transportation engaged in a “future workforce recruiting” effort.

On May 20, the day before the bridge competition finals, the Utah DOT organized a tour of its Traffic Operations Center in Salt Lake City, busing the students, their parents, and teachers to the facility for a day-long tour, complete with a buffet lunch.

The tour included a detailed overview of the TOC’s traffic camera control room and its weather center, where up 12 meteorologists work to analyze statewide weather patterns that could impact roadway conditions.

The students also visited with one of Utah DOT’s incident management teams parked in front of the building and attended presentations on structural engineering, traffic signal design and development, drone operation, and autonomous vehicles.

“You can’t stop learning in transportation,” emphasized Blaine Leonard, Utah DOT’s technology and innovation engineer, during his presentation to the students.

Blaine Leonard

Leonard – a key architect of the agency’s “first-in-the-nation” connected and autonomous vehicle or CAV system that uses Designated Short Range Communications or DSRC radios to help Utah Transit Authority buses “talk” to traffic signals so they arrive at their stops on time – stressed that “everything I work with now in transportation was invented after I graduated from college. And the day may come when we potentially won’t need to drive. And you – and your children – will be at the forefront of that.”

Matt Dunn, assistant district engineer of maintenance with the Mississippi Department of Transportation – who served as the announcer for the event – noted that all of the students participating in the competition represented “the future” of the transportation industry.

“We need young minds like theirs to think outside the box and help strengthen our transportation system,” he explained. “We need young people to be interested in transportation and pursue these jobs so they can provide the future workforce for the state DOTs. And its events like these are what attracts middle and high school students to the field of transportation engineering.”

“The students of the future presenting here are unbelievable,” added Carlos Braceras, Utah DOT’s executive director and AASHTO’s 2018-2019 president, during the event. “We hope to help them design their future through such competitions, for we never have enough engineers in transportation.”

 

 

Read the full article on the AASHTO Journal

NETWC Spotlights

Check out the programs and people who have recently been highlighted by the Northeast Transportation Workforce Center!

Aviation Explorer Post

Toddy Thomas Middle School from Fortuna, California won the 2018 Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition with their piezoelectric project titled “Small Steps, Big Difference.” Sponsored by the Mineta Transportation Institute, the Garrett Morgan Competition fosters student interest in transportation-related careers. Using the MTI Teacher’s Guide, and guided by their sponsor, Caltrans District 1, Toddy Thomas presented a project that would harness the energy of the human step to power their school bus.

Aviation Explorer Post

On April 18th, a new Aviation Explorer Post was started at Morristown Airport. The goal of the post is to help young men and women, ages 14-20, learn about careers in aviation. At the first meeting, the Explorers toured the airport and discussed which careers the post will focus on at future meetings. Pilot, air traffic controller, maintenance, and design are some of the areas that will be covered by active professionals. The post is chartered to DM Airports Ltd., and plans to meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month. New Explorers are welcome and can register at https://tinyurl.com/aviationexploring.

   

More women leaders needed for Transportation Projects

Women leaders make a difference. Minority leaders make a difference. Small business leaders make a difference. Our transportation system touches everyone in our diverse population, so it’s critical to gain input, perspectives and talent from all parts of our community.

Better representation in the leadership ranks will help ensure major infrastructure projects are designed and built to meet the wide-ranging needs of our entire community. Inclusive leadership won’t happen by accident; luckily, there are people and companies working to make it a reality.

   

AutoCare Association Participates in Workforce Conference

Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, recently participated in the National Association of Workforce Boards’ “The Forum 2018” annual conference where he and other representatives from the nation’s largest employment sectors met to discuss solutions for finding and retaining qualified employees.

   

St. Johnsbury Academy Students Learn Trades Right On Campus

Unlike most programs in the state, Career and Technical Education at St. Johnsbury Academy is integrated into the larger academic school. As a result, 80 percent of the full student body takes at least one CTE course during their academic career, and two-thirds of the students who focus their time in CTE go on to secondary education in their trade field or employment in that field. In this program you’ll hear from five students and two teachers in the CTE program at the Academy. They are kids who love to “work with their hands” and “learn by doing,” hoping to graduate from high school with employable skills.

   

NJ Strives to Stay Ahead in Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution

New Jersey’s business and government leaders recognize the value in the state becoming a major center of distribution and logistics, so they are looking for its education system to help New Jersey remain a step ahead. Business leaders say they have plenty of jobs available in this sector and want colleges to evolve, so well-trained workers are available here in the Garden State well into the future.

   

Electrify Pennsylvania Transportation System

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection soon will begin recommending projects to receive funding from the state’s settlement allocation (nearly $120 million) to help right this wrong and offset the vehicles’ additional pollution. State leaders should select projects that achieve long-term emissions reductions and help focus our transportation sector on building infrastructure for clean electric vehicles.

   

UMES Summer Transportation Institution Pushes to Stimulate Interest in STEM Career

Middle schoolers participated in the Summer Transportation Institution at UMES during June 19th to July 7th, 2017. This program provides awareness and hopes to stimulate interest towards transportation and STEM-related careers.  Students are able to explore these fields through field trips and hands on activities.

   

3 Reasons to Hire a Hero

As thousands of American employers know, hiring veterans is a smart move. There are more than 7 million veterans in the U.S. labor force, meaning they’re either employed or actively looking for work. If you’re curious about working with veterans, here are three great reasons to hire one:

   

Forget Autonomous Cars; Autonomous Ships are Already Here

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) is proud to announce that Insights Success magazine has named Ellen Voie, its president and CEO, as one of the “30 Most Empowering Women in Business.” Voie founded WIT in 2007 to promote the employment of women in the trucking industry, remove obstacles that might discourage women from considering a career in transportation, and celebrate the successes of association members. WIT has grown dramatically over the past decade and now exceeds 4,500 members.

   

Women In Trucking Association CEO Named One of the “30 Most Inspirational Leaders in Business”

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) is proud to announce that Insights Success magazine has named Ellen Voie, its president and CEO, as one of the “30 Most Empowering Women in Business.” Voie founded WIT in 2007 to promote the employment of women in the trucking industry, remove obstacles that might discourage women from considering a career in transportation, and celebrate the successes of association members. WIT has grown dramatically over the past decade and now exceeds 4,500 members.

Container shipping takes on digital initiatives

“Maersk’s partnership with IBM, announced in March, to develop blockchain solutions for freight is one example of potential mutual benefit. According to one estimate, shippers spend twice as much on shipping processes, including documentation, as they do on actual freight movement.”

 

Transportation Technology Wises Up

Self-driving trucks, intelligent highways and freight-hauling apps are changing the way goods can be transported and delivered. Semi-autonomous vehicle technologies also offer a potential solution to the shortage of truck drivers,  with many drivers having recently retired from the industry. These advanced technologies may actually extend the careers of aging drivers and attract even more candidates to the industry, including women.

12 Stats About Working Women

This Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look at women’s contributions to the U.S. labor force.  Here are some noteworthy statistics we’ve rounded up!

 

Graduate Student Internship in Division of Capital Investment Planning & Development

The NJDOT Bureau of Research has issued this posting on behalf of the division of Capital Investment Planning & Development. The CIPD requires the assistance in the identification, preparation, and submission of project modifications or amendments to the STIP in accordance with the MOU for TIP/STOP changes between the three MPOs, NJ Transit, and NJDOT, fully executed October 2012.

 

Why Apprenticeships Are Taking Off

For the last decade, the Manpower Group, a human resources consultancy, has tracked the skills gap. It found that employers across the globe are facing the most acute talent shortage since the recession in 2007. Of the more than 42,000 employers surveyed, 40 percent said they are experiencing difficulty filling roles.


Operating Engineers Training Programs

Over the years, IUOE local unions throughout the U. S. and Canada have developed and implemented comprehensive training programs that are widely recognized as the best in a number of industries. Our aim has been and continues to be to provide highly skilled, safe, and productive heavy equipment operators and stationary/facilities engineers to the construction, pipeline, stationary and environmental industries.